Ketchup With Us #36 – Kitchen Up

Ms Mel and ODNT are giving you 10 minutes to write something, anything. Starting…now! Ketchup With Us

We all have talents. Writing, photography, drawing/painting, singing. Do we gravitate to what we are good at by trial and error, or do we go with the first thing that we get a sense of reward for?

One ‘talent’ I think it more of a necessity is cooking. What difference is there really between a gourmet chicken dinner and some spices simply sprinkled on and tossed into the oven? Comfort food is rarely difficult, but has the secret parts of preparation (not love…well ok BESIDES love, geez) that make it just right. Probably the reason why I refuse to eat Italian food at most locations.

My introduction to cooking started very young. I watched my parents cook while sitting in the kitchen area, as I wheeled small metal cars along the round white table. Typical Italian fare of course. As time went on I would be allowed to bread the cutlets, season the meat, I still recall handling the squishy ground beef for meatballs, or prepare the sides (usually instant from a box, or canned. Cranberry sauce a la Bart if you get the reference).

In my teenage years my parents were usually working later hours and so my sister and I were the ones who cooked for ourselves. We took the opportunity to mix and match dishes that only a teenage metabolism can appreciate – frozen pizzas and chicken strips, or everything deep fried at once! My passage into adulthood came when I found out Chef Boyardee was a real person who made more than Beefaroni. The innocence of childhood was gone.

In college I learned two things, first cookies. I gained a quick reputation of always having peanut butter/chocolate chip cookies in my backpack. A close friend advised that every woman’s weakness was peanut butter and chocolate. Back then I needed any edge, I had no swerve.

It was also the time that I would look at the way we had traditionally prepared everything and switched it up. There was resistance at first, but then scalloped potatoes do taste many, many times better when made fresh!

At this point, I rarely if ever buy cookies. I have a seafood bisque that soundly defeats any canned variety, and can make in 20 minutes with prep. In a pinch, a spoonful (or just a pinch) of curry can spice up anything, and a big handful of chocolate chips makes it sweeter.
I admit this took slightly longer than 10 minutes with editing incomplete sentences, and finding that double chocolate & cherry brownie picture. 


Filed under Cooking, Creative Writing, Food, Ketchup With Us, Life, Writing

5 responses to “Ketchup With Us #36 – Kitchen Up

  1. One of the serious disadvantages of the home cook to the pro one is equipment.
    I would love to have a massive double convection oven in my kitchen. And a few other tools that just aren’t really available for home.

    That being said, there’s nothing like a well prepared homemade meal!

    • Oh yes, my neighbor has a double oven.

      A kitchen aid mixer with a pasta or sausage maker attachment and it’s game fckin over.

      • I’d love to have the space for a proper deli slicer.
        The home ones just don’t have the mass to do the job.

        Go for the hand pasta roller. I’ve heard bad things about the attachments, but the hand one hasn’t let me down.
        As long as I don’t try to make thin spaghetti.

  2. A. This piece reads so eloquently for a race against the clock. Color me impressed.

    B. I want some of that bisque. Stat. It’s one of my favorites. If I may ask, what fruits of the sea do you use in it? Does it compare with the seafood bisque sold by a certain Mr. Yeganeh prior to his franchising into fame?

    C. I totally get the Bart reference. And I’m sure Mel will, too. But, of course, you already knew that.

    • A. Thanks – I admit that it did take a bit longer in editing it, but just about all of the text is the original, just straightened out.
      B. I will get that to you asap. I use shrimp (pre-poached) and crabmeat from the big can. Though I have never had his, yes mine is better.
      C. Woohoo!

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